\ˈsēk \
sought\ ˈsȯt \; seeking

Definition of seek 

transitive verb

1 : to resort to : go to

2a : to go in search of : look for

b : to try to discover

3 : to ask for : request seeks advice

4 : to try to acquire or gain : aim at seek fame

5 : to make an attempt : try used with to and an infinitive governments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented— D. M. Potter

intransitive verb

1 : to make a search or inquiry

2a : to be sought

b : to be lacking in critical judgment … they were sadly to seekThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

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Other Words from seek

seeker noun

Choose the Right Synonym for seek

seek, search, and hunt mean to look for something. seek may be used in looking for either material or mental things. She's always seeking new friends. I seek the truth. search is used when looking for something in a very careful, thorough way. We searched all over the house for the letter. hunt is used for a long pursuit. I hunted all day for the right present.

Examples of seek in a Sentence

The office is seeking a salesperson. The prince is seeking a wife. Snakes seek the sun to warm their bodies. You should visit your doctor and seek his advice. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath. The church is seeking donations. He sought revenge for his son's murder. During the war, she sought asylum in Spain. They sought refuge in Canada. The company is seeking new ways to improve service.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In 2014 the house underwent a restoration that sought to modernize the property while maintaining its historic elements. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Restored brick house from 1700s asks $4M," 17 Oct. 2018 And beyond seeking ways on how to maintain order in their home, pinners have expressed interest in carving out areas for relaxation. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Pinterest's New Report Reveals Home Organization Trends for Fall," 30 Aug. 2018 Acer’s Swift series has always sought to offer the world’s lightest notebooks in its category, and the new Swift 5 laptops are no different. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer's Swift 5 aims to be the lightest laptop to include Intel's new Whiskey Lake chips," 29 Aug. 2018 In creating their works, many artists sought inspiration directly from the venues housing their creations. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "Works by Over 100 Contemporary Artists Take Over Cleveland," 14 July 2018 Earlier this year the village sought interest from developers, with five companies submitting qualifications. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "3 firms compete to develop state-owned site in Tinley Park," 13 July 2018 Purdue sought the lawsuit's dismissal, arguing the state is trying to hold the company liable while disregarding factors such as a doctor's judgment and a patient's decision on how to use the drug. Author: Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "Judge allows Alaska’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturer to proceed," 13 July 2018 After that awakening, Callahan sought treatment through Alcoholics Anonymous, enrolled in the English program at Portland State University, and eventually began his cartooning career., "How John Callahan Used His Disability To Fuel Fearlessly Funny Cartoons," 13 July 2018 The mother of Moss’ children previously sought a protective order against him 2012. Ian Duncan,, "Baltimore Police detective suspended after judge orders him to give up gun in domestic violence case," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seek.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of seek

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for seek

Middle English seken, from Old English sēcan; akin to Old High German suohhen to seek, Latin sagus prophetic, Greek hēgeisthai to lead

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Statistics for seek

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seek

The first known use of seek was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for seek



English Language Learners Definition of seek

: to search for (someone or something) : to try to find (someone or something)

: to ask for (help, advice, etc.)

: to try to get or achieve (something)


\ˈsēk \
sought\ ˈsȯt \; seeking

Kids Definition of seek

1 : to try to find seek help … foxes called to each other, seeking again their lifelong mates.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain

2 : to try to win or get He sought revenge.

3 : to make an attempt Doctors are seeking to find a cure.

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Comments on seek

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by force of circumstances

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